The living dead.
Braaaaain eaters. (Or flesh eaters, depending on who you ask. I don't like to discriminate though.)
The undead phenomenon is catching on. Are zombies actually cool nowadays? I thought this day would never come! Now everyone who laughed at me in high school for wearing George Romero t-shirts can eat it! Oh, wait. They're still laughing at me? Shit, okay.
Anyway, with everyone getting pretty sick of vampires (I think the deathblow was making them sparkle - but that's just me. A lot of people think very differently.), a new monster has sort of risen to the forefront. Zombies.
I'm just glad we skipped right by werewolves. They can have their turn after we're done.
With the popularity of Zombieland, The Zombie Survival Guide, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies being turned into a movie (no, I am not shitting you - it will be starring Natalie Portman and I can't wait), zombies are taking over as the monster to be in the entertainment scene. Literary and film.
So, for those of you that know me (and by now, all of you should know me), you know that my first two novels are very close to being published. You also know that they are about zombies. What you may not know is that I consider myself something of a zombie nerd, and I've seen just about every zombie movie and read just about every zombie book in existence. What follows is my top 5 zombies movies of all time and some suggested zombie books (besides mine, obviously, which you will no doubt scramble to your local bookstore to buy the moment it is released). If you have any questions about anything zombie related, please feel free to post a comment and I will answer it in a timely manner. (So long as your question doesn't suck - in which case I will be forced to delete it, burn down your house, and punch your goldfish in his little fish face.)
1) Day of the Dead (The original version - without the girl with the fish eyes from American Beauty.)
2) Dance of the Dead (This is a newer one, but it makes the list anyways, and at number 2 because it's THAT awesome.)
3) Night of the Living Dead (What can I say about this one? Classic. Awesome for its social implications and for its zombies.)
4) Dead Alive (Goriest movie I've ever seen. Ever. And I've seen some gory movies.)
5) Shaun of the Dead (A new classic)
Honorable mentions - some new, some old: Day of the Dead 2, Zombieland (watch for Bill Murray in this), Dead and Breakfast, Dawn of the Dead (old one), and though they aren't called zombies, they are technically the living dead, so.. The Evil Dead 2 (this would have made the top 5 were they ever called zombies).
Have I filled your Netflix queue yet? No? Here's some more: Fido, The Mad, American Zombie (this one is ridiculous - a "documentary"), Dead Snow (nazi zombies?! Yes, please!), Braineaters
Okay. I think that's enough to last you for at least a week. If you have any I may have carelessly left off this list, please feel free to give me an e-slap upside the head and let me know.
Now, zombie books are something else altogether. They're few and far between, and unfortunately, there aren't too many with much humor in them. Or too many that are worth reading, for that matter. There is a pretty good zombie anthology that was released not too long ago called The New Dead: A Zombie Anthology (It makes a great xmas present to the zombie lover in every family) with greats such as Neil Gaiman and Max Brooks contributing to it. How could you go wrong?
I also fully recommend and endorse Breathers: A Zombie's Lament by S.G. Browne. It is written in the present tense, which as you know, I normally don't like, but Browne pulls it off and even uses it to his advantage at times (sort of like Josh Bazell - the other exception to my present tense rule, with his book that shall not be mentioned here because it is not about zombies, but you should probably read anyhow so scroll back through my posts for my review of it). Also, he happens to be an awesome guy and one of his "Zombies are people too" stickers currently adorns the back of this very laptop. (Thanks, Scott!) Check out his website!
I've already mentioned Max Brooks. A few years ago, Max started to give lectures on how to survive a zombie attack at universities. It was all done as a joke, but it really started to catch on. Fast forward a few years and you have one of the first best-selling zombie books ever: The Zombie Survival Guide. Fast forward a little bit more and you have World War Z:An Oral History of the Zombie War, Brooks's foray into fiction. It is gory as hell, which is why I liked it. It's done in a style of different heroes from the recently finished zombie war giving interviews to the same narrator. They each have a different story to tell. So technically, this is a bunch of short stories, but we can call it a novel since they all intertwine pretty nicely.
Okay, go, get shopping for those zombie xmas presents. I'm sure your family will appreciate you more than ever!